Cigar Review: La Palina El Diario KBII

Cigar Review: La Palina El Diario KBII

La Palina El Diario KBII

Size: Corona Grande (6″ x 40)

Wrapper: Honduran Corojo ’99 Rosado

Binder: Honduran Criollo ’98 (Double Binder)

Filler: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 and Criollo ’98

Strength: Full

Price: $9.25 MSRP

One of the “newer” brands that I have really grown a fondness for is Bill Paley’s, La Palina. I hesitate to use the words “newer brand” due to the rich history to the brand which you can read about at the La Palina website here. I happen to really like the innovation the Bill Paley is bringing to his blends by having unique blends that are blended at different factories and showcase different tobaccos. The Family series, manufactured by Graycliff, is a limited super premium line. The small batch, 1000 box run ,”Goldie” blended and rolled at El Titan de Bronze factory in Miami is a lead candidate for cigar of the year for me.

The El Diario series, released in 2011, which I reviewed here, was blended to be a daily premium smoke. Perhaps the most popular of the El Diario series was the KB, or Kill Bill, which is a 4″x 40 petit corona known for its rich flavor and strength. In 2012 at IPCPR as Vitola expansion was announced, a 6″ x 40 Corona Grande. Like the other cigars of the El Diario line-up, the KBII is rolled at the famed Raices Cubanas factory in Honduras.
Enough with that, how’s the Cigar:

Grade: 8.8

Pre-Light: (1.8) The dark Rosado wrapper is attractive. The scent off the foot is of lots of barnyard, some sweetnessm, fruit, and tanginess. The prelight draw reveals a bit more complexity; sweetness, rich tobacco, a little tart fruitiness, and spice. The cigar feels tightly packed but there’s a little give with a squeeze.

Burn: (1.6) The draw is a little tight, but not unexpected given the vitola, and it helps maintain a slower, steady burn rate which helps the cigar from gettign too strong. The burn line gets wavy at times and I had to give it a significant touch up around the mid way point.

Flavor: (2.7) After the first puff I get a little spice and pepper across the palette along with a gentle sweetness courtesy of the Rosado wrapper. The flavor is full of fruity spice, sharp perpper; rich and semi-spicy tobaccos. About an inch in I get more sweet and tart flavors along with pepper and spice, and bits of leather.

In the second third I get a stretch where the KB II becomes very rich and earthy for a few puffs and then out of nowhere there is a return of the sweet bouquet of fruity notes before the heavy earthiness and rich and spicy tobacco reemerges to the forefront.

The flavor continues to suprise in the final third and while the core flavors from the second third are present, I am greeted with a new flavor that is eerily reminiscent of root beer. Body throughout the smoke has been medium-full, while the strength has been full.

Overall: (2.7) The La Palina KB II is a complex, rich and flavorful cigar. It is billed as a longer smoking version of the “Kill Bill”, and I absolutely agree. There’s a nice balance of sweetness and spice as well as earthy and fruity notes. The KBII is a cigar I’ll smoke again and I think it is a welcome fit when I’m in the mood for something rich, complex, and a little different.

Total: 8.8